Beasley eyes MLS as Rangers departure looms

Beasley eyes MLS as Rangers departure looms

U.S. Men's National Team

Beasley eyes MLS as Rangers departure looms

DaMarcus Beasley (Rueters) 

DaMarcus Beasley could be looking for work soon, and the potential search for employment has him eyeing a return to Major League Soccer.

Rangers is ready to part ways with the U.S. national team winger in January and sources tell SBI that Beasley is looking for a return to MLS, but his asking price might prevent the reunion from happening.

Rangers has been looking for takers for Beasley's services for some time, along with the services of several other players, but has yet to secure a reasonable offer for the former PSV star. If no offers emerge soon, the Glasgow club will release Beasley, which could pave the way for Beasley to make a move back to MLS.

So what is standing in the way of a Beasley return home? The fact that no MLS team is ready to pay the seven-figure salary he is looking for and has grown accustomed to in his five years of playing in Europe's top flight.

There aren't many teams in MLS that couldn't use Beasley's services on the left wing, but his Designated Player-level salary demands are an issue. With MLS teams targeting mainly foreign stars with their designated player slots, Beasley will have a difficult time finding an MLS club with the DP slot to use on him, and the willingness to make him a designated player.

Which clubs would be interested? Bruce Arena and the LA Galaxy would make a perfect fit, but would only make sense financially if David Beckham were to leave LA for AC Milan permanently. Beasley could theoretically be a replacement for Landon Donovan if Donovan were to make a permanent move to Bayern Munich (where he is set to begin a loan move next month) but the Galaxy would be unable to pay Beasley more than a max salary of approximately $415,000 a season (at least not under the current MLS rules).

A return to Chicago, where he began his career and reached an MLS Cup with in 2003, would not seem likely considering Cuauhtemoc Blanco currently fills the club's DP slot and left winger Justin Mapp recently signed a contract extension.

Beasley had been linked to a potential MLS return two years ago, with Real Salt Lake and New York the identified suitors, but that was when John Ellinger was RSL's head coach and Arena was with the Red Bulls. With Ellinger serving as Hyndman's assistant with FC Dallas, you have to wonder whether FC Dallas would be interested and capable of making Beasley an offer he would seriously consider.

A Beasley return to MLS will ultimately come down to whether Beasley is willing to take a substantial pay-cut to come home. If he were, the number of interested MLS teams would multiply.

So why would Beasley be interested in a return to MLS at the age of 26? Injuries and inconsistent playing time have hampered him the past three European seasons, and with 2009 being a busy and important year for the U.S. national team (with World Cup qualifying, Confederations Cup and Gold Cup), Beasley could be better served by spending the next year or two in MLS, which would cut down on his travel requirements as opposed to if he were based in Europe. He would be 28 after the 2010 World Cup and a strong showing in South Africa, as well as in MLS, could pave the way for a return to Europe.

Beasley has struggled to gain a regular place in Rangers' starting lineup this season, failing to even make the bench on a handful of recent occasions. Rangers faces arch-rival Celtic on Saturday.

What do you think about Beasley potentially returning to MLS? Do you want him to come back? Do you think he would be better served staying in Europe? Which MLS team could you see him going to? Think Rangers should keep him?

Share your thoughts below.

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